Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Extra Crispy

Gardens can be a source of despair at this time of year.  The lush green explosion of only a month ago has given way to bedraggled gasping.  Here in Poolesville, we have not only been enduring unusually hot and dry conditions, but also a powerful storm over the weekend.  Wind speeds of 60 miles per hour made a mess of already limping yards and gardens.  Masses of broken limbs and buffeted leaves littering lawns provided the perfect encouragement to clean up the garden.  Late July is a perfect time to tidy up the garden, cutting back plants that are finished blooming or have become straggly; pulling out annuals that have outgrown their attractiveness; and filling in spots with a planting for renewed energy.  University of Maryland's Cooperative Extension service runs a program specifically for edible gardening called Grow It, Eat It; this month, their page offers some coping tips for this hot, dry weather: http://www.growit.umd.edu/index.cfm.  Take a look around your own garden: what can you do to give it a jolt of energy?

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Hot Mess

I had oh-so-grand plans for my hot sauce bottling this year.  I planned to experiment with "canning" it so I could send it to friends and family farther afield.  I planned on making a couple different formulations, in addition to the herbal concoction from last year.

Alas, you know what has been said about the best-laid plans.  And mine have gone very far astray, unfortunately.

Mysteriously, my pepper plants have grown very little since May, whether a starter plant, a plant from seed, or even a volunteer.  With the lack of growth has also come a lack of blossom, and therein lies the problem: no bloom, no peppers.

I may have no choice but to decamp to my area Asian grocery for my hot pepper supplies, though my glow of pride may be somewhat diminished as a result.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

100 degrees of July

With the oven-like atmosphere descended upon us, along with the unbreathable air, makes me glad I finally installed my soaker hose.  I simply cannot believe (nor wish to admit) how long it spent coiled in the garage, waiting for me to use the thing.  *Note: By "I...installed  my soaker hose," I mean my dad was kind enough to do it for me.  Before the heat wave hit, I might add, lest I be accused of attempted patricide.

On another note, now may be the time to try one of the many permutations of lemonade I have been considering, such as basil and lavender.  Hmmmmm.....